Tim Paine, Australian Test captain on Wednesday said that four bowlers who were a part of the ill-fated 2018 Cape Town Test against South Africa have been in touch with batsman Cameron Bancroft to “clear the air” over suggestions they knew about the ball-tampering.
Cameron Bancroft stirred up fresh controversy last week after hinting that the Australian bowlers were aware that their players were tampering with the ball during the 2018 Cape Town Test against South Africa.
Tim Paine: Australian Bowlers Part Of The 2018 Cape Town Test Which Saw Ball-Tampering Cleared The Air After Sorting Out Things With Cameron Bancroft
Australian bowlers issued a joint statement on Tuesday, once again pleading their innocence in the ball-tampering saga after Cameron Bancroft’s latest comments stirred up and reignited the controversy last week.
Australia’s bowling attack comprised of pacers Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc, and off-spinner Nathan Lyon in the 2018 Test but they have always maintained that they had no knowledge of Cameron Bancroft, Steve Smith, and David Warner’s plan to tamper with the ball to assist the bowlers on Day 3 of the third Test on March 24, 2018.
“I think they’re frustrated that it keeps popping up but I think that’s part and parcel for everyone who played in that test match,” Tim Paine told reporters in Hobart.
“Their mood was fine, I think they’ve spoken to (Bancroft), cleared the air there and I think everyone’s looking forward to moving on. We’re all grown men and those guys have made contact with each other and sorted it out.”
CA conducted an investigation into the incident in 2018 and banned Cameron Bancroft for nine months, while former captain Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner were suspended for a year and subsequently removed from leadership roles.
Tim Paine: Cameron Bancroft’s Chances Of Returning To Tests Won’t Be Hampered By His Comment
Tim Paine, who replaced Steve Smith as skipper after the scandal, said Cameron Bancroft’s comment would not damage his chances of returning to the Test team once he returns from playing county cricket in England.
“We don’t pick Test teams on what they say in the media,” he said. “We pick Test teams on how many runs they’re scoring … and that certainly won’t be held against him.”
On the third day of the match, Cameron Bancroft was caught on camera trying to alter the condition of the ball. As soon as the clip was shown on television, it went viral on social media and the entire cricketing fraternity condemned the act. Steve Smith and David Warner returned to the national team’s fold just before the 2019 ODI World Cup, while Cameron Bancroft has since struggled to break back in. He has played 10 Tests and 1 T20I.
In July 2019, he was named in Australia’s squad for the 2019 Ashes series in England. He made his international return in the first test at Edgbaston at the beginning of August. He played the first two Tests, but after scores of 8, 7, 13, and 16, was dropped for the third Test.